Make healthy Ayurveda habits a part of your everyday life, even on Thanksgiving. Ayurveda expert Ali Cramer of Laughing Lotus Yoga NYC shares super simple healthy Ayurveda-friendly recipe for each dosha you can add to your Thanksgiving menu.
Roasting is a great cooking technique for this season. The long sustained heat of roasting brings out the sweetness in veggies and the sweet rasa (taste) is great for Vata season. Its grounding quality is good for all doshas, but Vata and Pitta can have a bit more rasa than Kapha. The Vata and Pitta recipes feature sweet veggies, while the kapha recipes features bitter and astringent roasted veggies.
These simple roasted veggie recipes make perfect Thanksgiving side dishes for each dosha. Make up a pot of kichari to accompany these Ayurveda-friendly Thanksgiving recipes and you’ll have a delicious holiday feast! All recipes are designed to feed around four people, so be sure to adjust accordingly for your number of guests.
Thanksgiving side dishes for your dosha:
Vata – Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Mashed sweet potatoes are a perfect Thanksgiving dish for Vata. Wash 4 or 5 medium sweet potatoes, prick the skins with a fork a couple times, and roast them at 400 degrees for 30-45 minutes, depending on the size. They should be nice and soft. Mash them up with two tablespoons of ghee or for a yummy vegan variation, two tablespoons of coconut, walnut or hazelnut oil. Add the juice of half a small orange, a half a teaspoon each of ginger and cinnamon powder, and a pinch each of salt, powdered clove, nutmeg, and allspice. You can play around with the spices, tailoring them to the level you wish.
Pitta – Roasted Fennel
Fennel is great for pitta types. Start with two whole bunches. Chop off the tops and cut the stalks into bite-sized pieces. Toss with around two tablespoons of olive oil and a pinch of salt, spread on a cookie sheet or in a roasting pan, and roast at 350 for 30 minutes. Place in a bowl, squeeze the juice of a half lemon over it, and give it a good toss. If you are not vegan, goat cheese goes really well with fennel. Fresh chèvre is not very salty, so Pitta can indulge. Place the fennel on a platter and dot small pieces of goat cheese over it. Optional: chop up some fresh parsley or dill and scatter over the top.
Kapha – Roasted Potatoes & Brussels Sprouts
Kapha types should roast white potatoes and brussels sprouts. Start with around two pounds each of potatoes and sprouts. I like the small red new potatoes, but the farmer’s market has all kinds of cool heirloom varieties, so experiment! (Experimentation is so good for Kapha—try something different!) Wash the veggies well, and cut off the nubbly stem end of the brussel sprouts and remove any tough outer leaves. Mince three or four cloves of garlic, and place all of it in a roasting pan. Toss with one tablespoon of sunflower oil, a teaspoon of dried rosemary (or better yet, mince up a tablespoon of fresh rosemary), add a small pinch of salt and a few generous grinds of black pepper. Roast at 400 for 30-40 minutes.
Lastly, remember to eat your food with an attitude of appreciation and grace. If no one is pausing to pray, offer to lead one, keeping it sensitive to all in attendance. Something as simple as “Thank you to Mother Earth and to all involved in this beautiful meal we are about to eat. May we take in this food with a spirit of gratitude, may it keep us healthy, balanced and strong enough to continue to do good work in this World.”